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Saturday, December 02, 2006

The best-laid plans…

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I had such grandiose visions of an incredible meal last night…but life being what it is, sometimes the best plans go a little bit awry.

No biggie though – we still had a great meal, somewhat according to plan, and we consumed so much tasty wine (and a little that wasn’t so tasty) that it really doesn’t matter.

The trip home was a mite more time consuming than anticipated….the snowy, rainy, pellet-ty insanity being what it was…..we finally sloshed our way through the door at close to seven.

Set to work on tidying the kitchen, but that lovely beet soup of which I spoke yesterday just didn’t quite appear…..I opened up the fridge to take out the beets (which I had been checking on regularly since I bought them a couple of months ago)….only to discover that they had finally come to their sad fuzzy end.  Had to throw that bag out, and with it went all my hopes of purple soup.

Hubs was ecstatic. I was all set to make a potato leek soup instead, but he decided he didn’t actually want soup anyway. So I didn’t make soup (bought beets today, am making beet soup tonight – beets are in the oven as we speak…he doesn’t get off that easy).

We had shrimp ring instead….yum.

I did luck out at the store and they had Dungeness crabs in stock….it turns out that my shellfish squeamishness runs the gamut from lobster to crab (inclusively), so I gratefully took up the ‘fishmonger’ on the posted offer to pre-cook the little dudes (I just can’t handle killing my own food….you might make a veg out of me yet!). Anyway, we brought them home still warm. Cool.

Hubs kindly volunteered (or was he voluntold….) to crack and shell the crab (again a task I just cannot handle….) and I altered the recipe somewhat to suit our tastes. Rather than roasting crabs in shell, I made the sauce mostly as directed (it’s yummy – you should try!), and added the shelled crab meat right to it. I couldn’t find any fresh thyme at the grocery store, and so substituted marjoram, which was more than adequate. Yum! And last, we’re not big fans of orange flavour with any sort of savoury dish, so I just squeezed some lemon juice onto it. LOVED it!

This is what resulted

Hubs and I delighted in sharing this sweetly delicate dish over a round of sourdough bread. As is per our usual wine (mis)pairing, we enjoyed this dish with Jackson-Triggs Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc, a perennial favourite of ours. I think the taste was likely enhanced by the glasses, but it was awesome nonetheless. The subsequent bottle of Meritage from the same vintner was also excellent.

But onto the pièce de résistance…..the delicious chocolate pots de crème…..these were incredible. It is the richest, most decadent chocolate dessert you can imagine. I followed the directions pretty much to a tee (see previous post for link to recipe) and it was perfection. The ingredients are so simple, yet so insanely explosive in your mouth…..I used Lindt 70% dark chocolate bar, and would recommend a similar level of chocolatude to other fellow chocoholics.

It’s so rich that a small serving is more than enough (I made 3 pots instead of the 2 the recipe called for and could still only finish half of mine…reduced cooking time to 27 minutes and they were perfectly done). Whoever discovered chocolate must have envisioned that it would be worshipped in such a fashion. Yum. Looking forward to splitting the last little pot with hubs later tonight.

The last bottle of wine we opened (yeah, I know…2 people, 3 bottles….) was Naked Grape Cabernet….this was gross. After the other two bottles of J-T (which, while tasty, isn’t exactly pricey or overwhelming), this tasted like home-made half brewed piss. Gross. That’s how bad it was – after TWO bottles of wine (the point where you would normally bring out the plonk so that you don’t waste good stuff on drunkards), this still was unfit for MBR consumption. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. I poured the rest of it down the drain this morning, after I enjoyed my MUCH deserved cup of dark roast. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….that’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.

Dinner tonight will be the infamous beet soup (will try to recreate the heart in the epicurious picture….hopefully it goes better than previous attempts….), and then a paprika pork goulash….slowcooked in the oven with shallot, carrots and potatoes. Will be accompanied with salad (which I also didn’t make yesterday) and wine.

Will update tomorrow with recipes, if food is worth sharing….

Thanks for reading! Love the comments…….. ;)

Also - Happy Birthday Dad! :)


Jenny said...

The meal sounds very nice! Hubby and I are huge fans of Meritage! We tried the JT, but our favourite is still the Iniskillin Meritage. Dan had to fight a customer at the wine store for the last bottles of was desperate-lol

Anonymous said...

Wow--everything looks amazing! Love the beet soup (another post?) and the Dungeness Crab--looks great.
Who knew you could ask the fishmonger to cook the crab; I actually don't mind the descaling (?) of it, but still...some time saved in part. the pics and recipe links.

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